Russian PM Vladimir Putin was one of the last guests that broadcasting legend Larry King interviewed during the course of his extraordinary career – and Larry told RT he was very impressed with the force of Putin’s personality and charisma.
“I had an affinity with him”, King told RT. “You try to get that with a lot of guests, but I really had it with him…he has qualities that have nothing to do with politics…they change a room.”
The legendary TV host also said that he was not in the least surprised to hear Putin will be running for president in the 2012 election. “There are certain lives that you can’t leave”, said King, “and the political life is one of those. When you talk to a political leader who is either out of office, or not in a position of great power, you miss that power – it’s an aphrodisiac.”
The CNN anchor also spoke at length about what had impressed him about Vladimir Putin back in 2000, saying that even his crew liked him when they filmed in New York.
That first interview, of course, is most often remembered for the exchange between King and Putin about the ‘Kursk’, the Russian nuclear submarine that sank in the Barents Sea in August 2000. Asked by the host about what happened, Putin simply said “It sank.”
It’s become a famous statement – one Larry King called “a great television moment” and a “brilliant way to answer a difficult question. It was a combination of being new and being direct,” King told RT.
Asked to compare the man he interviewed last year to the man he first interviewed in 2000, Larry King stated simply that he liked Putin straight away – as did former President George W Bush. “I found him engaging,” said King. “There are certain people that come into your life and you like them.”